McConnell alumnus Michael G. Adams ('98) to receive JFK Profile in Courage Award

By Mary Catherine Medley and Madelin Shelton
McConnell alumnus Michael G. Adams ('98) to receive JFK Profile in Courage Award

Graphic: JFK Presidential Library and Museum

Louisville, Ky. (June 5, 2024) – Michael G. Adams, Kentucky Secretary of State and a 1998 graduate of the McConnell Scholars Program, has been named the 2024 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award recipient. The award, created by members of the Kennedy family in 1989, recognizes public officials at all levels of government whose actions demonstrate the qualities of politically courageous leadership in the spirit of Profiles in Courage, President John F. Kennedy’s 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book.

Caroline Kennedy and her son, Jack Schlossberg, will present the award on June 9, 2024, at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Massachusetts.

According to the library, Adams was presented with the award for “expanding voting rights and standing up for free and fair elections despite party opposition and death threats from election deniers.”

“As our nation heads to the polls this November to choose the next President of the United States, courageous Secretaries of State like Michael Adams are on the front lines protecting access to the ballot and ensuring that our nation remains a beacon of democracy,” Caroline Kennedy, Honorary President of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, said in a press release.

“President Kennedy’s admonition to put country before self still resonates today, and rings true now more than ever,” said Adams. “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of election officials and poll workers across America who, inspired by his call, sacrifice to keep the American experiment in self-government alive.”

Past winners of the award include former U.S. Presidents Barack Obama, Gerald Ford, and George H.W. Bush, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and U.S. Senator John McCain.

The event can be viewed via livestream on the JFK Presidential Library and Museum's website